November 23, 2008

Southbrook Winery 1992 Riesling Dry

Found November 2008

When wine first started to come into my life on a regular basis, and reading about it became part of a normal daily, or weekly, occurrence, I read two things: reds aged, whites didn’t – but with every "rule" there's an exception: Riesling was that exception. I had heard/read that Riesling can/could age fifty years or more. Wow, 50 years – a white wine. It has to do with a combination of the sugars and the acidity … being the ever curious sort that I am I just had to do an experiment. So off to my local winery I did go – in this case it was a 30-minute drive north to Southbrook Farms in Maple (just north of Toronto) and bought myself a couple of bottles of Riesling and then hid them from myself in a dark corner of my cubboard to test out this 50-year theory. Well I never made it to fifty years, as the writing of this review indicates. I unearthed these bottles doing a closet clean out … the 1992 Dry Riesling, that you are about to hear about, and a 1994 Semi-Dry Riesling … the semi-dry has it’s cork in it, but not for long. As for the ’92 … I can’t believe this wine is 16 years old. Un-fricken-believable.

I started out by chilling it for far too long – afraid to open what might be a dead-wine; when is the proper time to open history? At first the smells were light petrol, citrus, and green apple vibrant ... yes, vibrant (as it warmed peach started to emerge and whiffs of petrol became more prevalent). This was now exciting … what could have been the mistake of a lost bottle might now turn into something amazing. Lips to glass here we go: lemon rind … hints of petrol … good acidity … green apple … dry finish. This 16-year-old Riesling had held up amazingly well. As it warmed more white peach flavours and petrol emerged just as they did on a nose - the finish was short, almost abrupt in the way it ended. What's even more amazing about this wine is that at the time it was produced both winery and winemaker (Derek Barnett – now with Lailey) were in their second year of the being. Stay tuned for the opening of the 1994 Semi-Dry. Lost and Found rating: Unbelievable Treasure.

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